‘Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony,’ writes St James in today’s Second Reading. And his words are borne out by the behaviour of the twelve apostles. Even as Jesus is warning them that suffering and death lie ahead for him, they are arguing about which of them is ‘the greatest.’ The apostles have failed to understand the Lord’s teaching.
Jesus illustrates the point in a dramatic way. He gathers the Twelve around him, and shows them a little child – a person with no power or status. Jesus tells the disciples that they should welcome the powerless in his name. For the disciples of Christ, leadership means service, and the poor and powerless have a special place in God’s kingdom. We should not be ambitious for worldly ‘greatness.’
Our local group of Lay Dominicans meets on the third Sunday of each month at 2:30pm – currently on Zoom – for about 60-75 minutes. Our next meeting is on September 19th and if you would like to join our Zoom meeting or to learn more about the Lay Dominicans then contact Andy Doyle (firstname.lastname@example.org or 0798 543 4185). Please note also that, to mark the joint 800th anniversary of the death of St Dominic and the coming of his friars to England, our meeting in October will be on Saturday 16th October when we shall have a day of prayer, study and reflection to which all will be invited to “Come and See” what we are about.
Please note that, in addition to New Elvet Bridge being closed, road surfacing work has begun on New Elvet. This may cause diversion, delay and reduced parking availability near church between the 11th and 19th September (i.e. including 2 Sundays). Please set out early for Mass and look out for diversion signs!
On each of the 4 Mondays of the month of October, we will pray the Rosary at 6pm on Zoom. For dial-in details, look out for an announcement in the Parish FaceBook group or contact Andy Doyle ( email@example.com or 0798 543 4185)
If you are thinking about becoming a Christian; if you’re a baptised Christian and wish to be received into full communion with the Catholic Church; if you’re a Catholic who hasn’t received First Communion or Confirmation; or if you just want to learn more about the Catholic faith, the Journey in Faith programme (also known as Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, or RCIA) is for you. Our programme will start in mid-October and will continue on Tuesday evenings until Easter. It’s open to everyone, including parishioners and students. If you’re interested, please contact Fr Andrew at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0191 384 3442.
The Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle is also offering an online programme, ‘First Steps,’ for those who wish to explore the Catholic faith. Details on the diocesan website, www.rcdhn.org.uk
The next meeting of St Cuthbert’s PPC will be held on Thursday 30th September. If there are any matters that you would like the PPC to discuss, please contact Fr Andrew or the PPC Secretary, Susan Penswick.
Synod of Bishops 2023; For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation, Mission. Pope Francis has asked the whole Church to begin a process of listening and discernment, in preparation for the Synod of Bishops to be held in 2023. Every member of the Church is asked to contribute to this synodal process, which will begin in each diocese in October 2021. Details of the process in our diocese will be announced shortly.
The Season of Creation continues until 4th October, and we are encouraged to pray and engage in community events, to deepen our awareness of environmental issues. Climate Coordination Durham are organising a public demonstration on Friday 24th September, from 11am in Durham Market Place, as part of the Global Climate Strike. Everyone is welcome.
The Assisted Dying Bill will be debated by the House of Lords in October. See the Catholic Bishops Conference website, for information about the Church’s concerns, and how to write to peers about the bill.
In today’s Gospel, Peter first gets it right, and then gets it terribly wrong. Jesus has gradually revealed himself to his disciples; by his teaching, by his miracles, and by their life together. Now, he wants to see if the disciples have understood his teaching. Peter, prompted by the Holy Spirit, gives the right answer to Jesus’ question: ‘You are the Christ’ – God’s chosen and anointed one.
But when Jesus spells out to his disciples what is to come – that he will be betrayed, arrested and put to death – Peter is horrified. This mustn’t happen to his friend. Jesus rebukes Peter. He is absolutely obedient to his Father’s will, and he will face all that lies ahead, without resisting. Jesus goes on to teach the disciples that anyone who wants to follow him must give up their own desires and take up their own cross. To be a disciple of Jesus is to be like him.
It is a hard and challenging teaching. Our own cross might be one of sickness, discrimination, loneliness or many other things. We may have to make hard choices, to be true to our faith in Christ. If we suffer injustice, our instinct is to fight back; but Jesus asks us to follow his example. He calls us to walk a hard road. But it is the same road that he has already walked himself.
The diocesan Emmaus Team are trained in listening skills and in supporting those who are suffering loss. If you feel that it would help you to talk with a member of the team, you can contact them on 07732 908 740, or speak to Fr Andrew.
Bishop Robert has announced the Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle and will be launched during Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 17 October, simultaneously with the launch of the Synod.
The aims of the Year of the Eucharist are:
To celebrate the Eucharist at the heart of the life and mission of the Church and to gather people back.
To grow as a Diocese in our love and appreciation of the Eucharist.
To deepen our appreciation of the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist through the rites.
To revitalise and renew our faith through a deepening prayer and devotion of the Eucharist.
To go out and serve the world through the nourishment of the Eucharist.
The Year of the Eucharist will be celebrated in Episcopal Areas, Partnerships, Parishes and Schools and will provide a framework of prayer for the Diocese’s participation in the first stage of the Synod.
On Fridays 10th and 17th, Saturdays 11th and 18th and Sundays 12th and 19th of September, St Cuthbert’s will be taking part in the national Heritage Open Days event (https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting/event/st-cuthberts-catholic-church-durham) The church will be open to visitors, a small exhibition will be in place and light refreshments will be available. If you can help staff the church for 60 minutes or more during the day, welcoming visitors and offering refreshments, then please sign up on the list on the noticeboard or contact Andy Doyle (0798 543 4185 or email@example.com).
Sycamore is an informal course about the Christian faith and its relevance for life today. The Vicariate for Faith and Mission is running a series of online Sycamore courses throughout the year. A Zoom taster session will be offered on Sunday 19 September at 4.00pm. To register and receive the Zoom link, email Mike Weetman at firstname.lastname@example.org
The September edition of our diocesan newspaper is now available online at https://www.northerncross.org.uk/ Please consider supporting the Northern Cross by taking out a print or online subscription.
A conference organised by the Diocesan Environmental Group. Saturday 18th September, 10am-4pm, at the Emmaus Youth Village. Details on the diocesan website, http://www.rcdhn.org.uk/communications/2021/sept/careforacommonhomeconferenceoriginal.jpg
The ecumenical celebration of the 2021 Season of Creation, themed ‘A home for all? Renewing the Oikos of God,’ runs from 1 September, the World Day of Prayer for Creation, to 4 October, the feast day of St. Francis of Assisi. During this annual celebration of prayer and action for our common home, Christians across the globe will come together for a time of restoration and hope, and to discover radically new ways of living with creation. Pope Francis has posted a message for the season at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQxcFLH7Y8
CAFOD is responding to significant crises across the world.
In the tragic situation in Afghanistan, CAFOD are working to ensure the safety of our local partners and their communities.
In Haiti, CAFOD are working with local Church organisations to deliver emergency aid to people affected by the catastrophic earthquake and tropical storm.
You can read more about CAFOD’s work with our sisters and brothers affected by these emergencies on the CAFOD website: https://cafod.org.uk/News/Emergencies-news Your compassion, generosity and prayers help us stand together and enable us to continue to support communities in these difficult times, Thank you.
Days of Reflection for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. Saturday 16th and Saturday 30th October, 10.30am-3.30pm at Ushaw College (light lunch provided.) To book a place, please contact the Parish Office.